Queens Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau.
NDP transportation critic Sterling Belliveau says the Liberals have let rural communities down by not releasing a multi-year rural roads plan.
On Jan. 8, Belliveau publicly asked Liberal Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan to follow through on an NDP election commitment to implement the province’s first multi-year rural roads plan.
The next day following a Cabinet meeting, MacLellan was asked if the Liberals would be introducing such a plan. His response, “Yes, in two to three weeks, we’ve been working diligently on that. That’s going to be part of the 5-year plan.”
Belliveau says there was no multi-year road plan included in the 5-year Highway Improvement Plan. The updated plan also identified fewer local road projects than the previous year.
“I was expecting a plan that would identify what rural roads were going to be paved over the next three to five years and that didn’t happen,” said Belliveau. “If you live on a rural road that needs paving, unless it’s being done this year, you still have no idea when it will happen. The NDP wanted to change that. The Liberals indicated just two weeks ago they did too - but I guess that’s not the case.”
Belliveau says while he’s pleased the Liberals have finally released the 5-year Highway Improvement Plan update, he expected more. He’s also concerned the overall paving budget is down by about 10 per cent from the previous year.